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Punnat Punsri Wins Back-To-Back Venetian High Roller Poker Tournaments

The Thai Player Earned His Second Title In As Many Day, Cashing for More Than $250k Across Both Title Runs


Punnat Punsri is off to a hot start in 2022. The Thai poker player took down the first high roller event of the year in the early morning hours of Jan. 6, defeating a field of 34 entries in the Venetian High Roller #1 $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event to win $118,037. The very next day, Punsri emerged victorious from a field of 37 entries in the Venetian High Roller #2, adding another $133,200 for taking down his second $10,000 buy-in tournament in as many days.

The back-to-back titles saw Punsri earn $251,237 in total prize money, a large chunk of his $561,885 in career live tournament earnings. In addition to the money, he was also awarded 240 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. Punsri’s 480 total points are enough to put him atop the standings for the time being on the 2022 POY leaderboard.

He also leads the PokerGO Tour points race with 251 total points, having earned 133 for this latest victory.

The $370,000 prize pool for this event was paid out among the top six finishers. World Poker Tour champion and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Dylan Linde was knocked out on the money bubble, with his pocket jacks being cracked on the river by the pocket sevens of Masashi Oya after the chips went in preflop.

Barry Hutter, who finished third in the first event Punsri won, added another $18,500 to his annual total as the sixth-place finisher. John Flynt followed Hutter to the rail, earning $29,600 for his fifth-place showing.

Bracelet winner Andrew Lichtenberger’s run in this event came to an end when his ADiamond Suit3Diamond Suit ran into the ASpade SuitKSpade Suit of Oya. Lichtenberger found no help and was eliminated in fourth place ($40,700).

Despite earning that knockout, Oya was ultimately the next to fall. The recent Mid-States Poker Tour Venetian main event winner got all-in preflop with 6Diamond Suit6Club Suit racing against the ASpade SuitJSpade Suit of high-stakes tournament regular Chris Brewer. An ace-high flop gave Brewer the lead. He improved to a straight by the river to take down the pot and send Oya home with $59,200.

With that brewer took a slight lead into heads-up play with Punsri. A queen-high straight earned a sizable early pot for Punsri, though, to give him more than a 3:1 chip advantage. The two traded the lead multiple times during their battle for the title, but Punsri was able to take a slight lead in time for the final hand of the event.

Punsri limped in from the button with JSpade Suit8Spade Suit and Brewer checked from the biglind with KSpade Suit6Club Suit. The flop came down QSpade Suit5Spade Suit2Club Suit. Brewer checked and Punsri bet 60,000. Brewer check-raised to 150,000 and Punsri called. The 9Spade Suit on the turn prompted Brewer to bet 150,000. Punsri called with his flush and the 2Diamond Suit completed the board. Brewer moved all-in as a bluff and Punsri made the call to secure the pot and the title. Brewer earned $88,800 as the runner-up finisher.

Brewer had a breakout year on the live tournament circuit in 2021, making 22 final tables and winning two titles as he accumulated nearly $2.8 million in POY earnings. With a podium finish in a high-stakes event just a week into the new year, the former collegiate distance runner is on pace for another strong showing in 2022.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points PokerGO
1 Punnat Punsri $133,200 240 133
2 Chris Brewer $88,800 200 89
3 Masashi Oya $59,200 160 59
4 Andrew Lichtenberger $40,700 120 41
5 John Flynt $29,600 100 30
6 Barry Hutter $18,500 80 19

Photo credit: PokerGO.